PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday ordered investigations into excessive spending in the extension works for Mwanza Airport and Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA).
“The two projects have consumed nearly 800bn/- or about 345 million US dollars. This is unrealistic and must be investigated,” the president said in Dar es Salaam when officiating at the Engineers Registration Board’s (ERB) 14th Annual Engineers Day.
While expansion and renovation of runway for Mwanza Airport cost 105bn/-, the extension of JNIA Terminal Three, which include roofing of the terminal structure, installation of cooling systems (air duct), passenger boarding bridge, sewage systems, fire detection systems, electricity infrastructure (cabling) as well as plastering and flooring guzzled 650bn/- in taxpayers money.
“The government allocated 100bn/- for renovation of regional airports during the 2016/17 financial year. Out of this amount, we spent about 11bn/- to upgrade the Dodoma Airport to accommodate turboprop- powered narrow-body commercial passenger planes, the Bombardier Q400,” President Magufuli said. “Such amount, if well spent, can help to expand and renovate at least seven regional airports.”
The president was surprised with the amount spent in Mwanza and Dar es Salaam-based JNIA projects, faulting local engineers for not being realistic and honest.
“Drawing and estimates are conducted by engineers; unfortunately engineers have been exaggerating estimates,” he said, insisting that the projects must be investigated.
The president, who is a chemical engineer, said should engineers “decide today, we can reach our targets of becoming a middle income country.” Ideally, he said engineers were the architect of industrial developments in any country. He questioned the fraternity’s preparations to spur industrial-powered economy to attain the middle income status by 2025.
“We need new ships. What are the preparations for mechanical engineers to take over this opportunity?” he queried, “We have allocated 1 trillion/- for the construction of Standard Gauge line; all these are opportunities.
” He said the government recently purchased two turboprop-powered commercial passenger aircrafts - Bombardier Q400 from Canada, noting the planes are scheduled to land in the country by mid this month.
“These also need engineers to maintain them ... are you well prepared to take on this responsibilities,” he asked, receiving loud applause from a parked conference hall in the city.
There were about 2,500 registered engineers at the annual event themed “Transforming Tanzania towards Becoming a Middle Income Country through Industrialisation: The role of Engineers.”
The president challenged the engineers to take over the opportunities arising from various sectors in the country, insisting that his administration was open for assisting local engineers.
President Magufuli announced that Tanzania has discovered massive Helium gas alongside natural gas, minerals; gold, tanzanite, diamonds and gypsum. “We are soon constructing Hoima-Tanga crude oil pipeline.
How are Tanzanian engineers prepared for this major project?
Don’t you know how to calculate diameter and radius,” he said, urging the Engineers Registration Board (ERB) to establish a private engineering company, which can be hired by the state to undertake various construction works.
Magufuli orders probe on JNIA, Mwanza Airport Reviewed by on 10:30:00 PM Rating: